Suppose, a Brahmin accidentally kills a cat.

What is the prayaschitta for this act?

  • "The one without the feeling of "I am doer", whose intellect is not tainted, despite killing [others] in this world, neither kills nor is bound" - Bhagavad Gita 18.17
    – Pinakin
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 5:41
  • Abhisekh- I have removed the personal details from the question. It still is asking the same question but generally. If u are not ok with my edit u are free to revert it. But if it's having personal details in it it will be closed.
    – Rickross
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 6:00
  • 5
    @ChinmaySarupria, that is a complete misunderstanding and misrepresentation of Bhagavad Gita. By that logic, I can kill you and say 'I'm not the doer'. Then tomorrow the king can hang me and say 'I'm not the doer'. That is not what it means. It means that when you are doing a duty ordained by shastras with no desire to its results, then results will happen, but they won't bother you. It means that when you fight as a duty in battlefront, you may kill enemies and get bravery award or be killed by them and go to heaven, but neither will bother you because you don't care about the results.
    – ram
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 6:03
  • @ram Detachment is internal not external, if you kill someone intentionally, there is a reason behind that along with some kind of attachment and then you can say a 1000 times that "I'm not the doer" but that's not going to help. In OP's case, he didn't kill the cat intentionally so there is no point in taking the doership.
    – Pinakin
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 7:27
  • 4
    @ram Exactly. Mere feeling of "I did not kill" doesn't work for normal jivas. Only realized can experience "i'm not doer".state.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 8:14

1 Answer 1


Here is what this chapter of the Manu Smriti says:

  1. He who has slain a Sudra, shall perform that whole penance during six months, or he may also give ten white cows and one bull to a Brahmana.

  2. Having killed a cat, an ichneumon, a blue jay, a frog, a dog, an iguana, an owl, or a crow, he shall perform the penance for the murder of a Sudra;

  3. Or he may drink milk during three days, or walk one hundred yoganas, or bathe in a river, or mutter the hymn addressed to the Waters.

That is a reference to this hymn of the Rig Veda. In any case, here is what this chapter of the Vishnu Smriti says:

  1. If he has (unintentionally) killed a mouse, or a cat, or an ichneumon, or a frog, or a Dundubha snake, or a large serpent (a boa constrictor), he must fast one day, and on the next day he must give a dish of milk, sesamum, and rice mixed together to a Brâhmana, and give him an iron hoe as his 'fee.'
  • 1
    Why are u removing "Brahmin" from OP's post? That was part of his original post. Keeping it is not objectionable. Moreover atonement measures vary with varnas.
    – Rickross
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 9:31
  • It's to make the question more general, rather than specific to the OP's circumstances. In general that's what should be done with personal advice questions. But I certainly agree that Prayaschitta can vary with caste. Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 9:42
  • 1
    Keeping Brahmin part is not making it a personal advice Q. So such a removal is redundant. We should make it general alright but by keeping as much as we can from the original post.
    – Rickross
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 9:45
  • @Rickross Well, insofar as it might vary based on caste, that variation can be addressed in the answers. In any case, like I said what should be done to salvage personal advice questions is to make the question as general as possible. Simply removing the word "I" is not enough. Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 9:49
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Any prayaschitta for killing ants and cockroaches?
    – user9969
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 10:00

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